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The Exposure Triangle: Shutter Speed

So you know all about aperture. Now it's time to move onto shutter speed.

So we know that shutter speed is just that. The speed that your shutter opens

and closes. So how do we know when we need a slower shutter speed and when

we need a faster one? First, understand that the number representing your

shutter sheed stands for a fraction of a second. So the shutter speed of 250 is

actually 1/250th of a second. So just as with the aperture, the lower the number,

the more light that's let into your camera, so the brighter your image.

Of course, if you shoot with a shutter speed of that's too low then you risk a

blurry photo, especially if your subject is moving or if your hand isn't very steady.

So how do you know what your shutter should be? The answer will depend a lot

on what you're shooting, where and your goals for the photo you're making.

Typically, for regular portraiture, I don't go below 250, but you truly need to play

around to find your camera's sweet spot. With sports photography, you'll want a

very fast shutter speed, and maybe a slower shutter speed, or "long exposure" if

you're photographing a waterfall. Keep in mind that a tripod is almost always

necessary for creating long exposures like the ones below.

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